Grieving Futures Third Edition is released!

Grieving future cover

Grieving Futures – THIRD EDITION! Out now at your favorite book seller

This blog is not very active anymore but I still write about grief issues occasionally, and recently I decided to update my 2010 book Grieving Futures: Surviving the Deaths of My Parents. Seven years after writing it, and 20 years after the death of my father, I felt the need to come back around and discuss some of the things that have happened in the intervening years, as well as a few topics I purposefully left out when I originally wrote the book.

For one thing, I wanted to talk more about why I wrote that book when I did, and the long-reaching after-effects of that decision. It’s not like the book has ever sold much or hit any best-seller charts, but then, I never meant for it to do more than simply exist. When I wrote it, I felt that it was filling a hole in the realm of grief support resources and even now, I believe it still does.

Of course, I’ve also received feedback from readers — some people could not finish the book, finding it too upsetting. That always makes me feel bad because I never meant for it to be sob story, only a subjective recounting of my experiences. Of course, they were terrible experiences, but I don’t feel that emotion as keenly as others do, I suppose. Tragedy does have a way of numbing you to the extremes, even decades later. But, there were other readers who reached out and told me how much it meant to read something that resonated with their own experiences as adult orphans. When people tell me that my book made them feel less alone, well, that is when emotions swell and I cry. (Never for myself, but always for others…which is less a brag than a resigned sigh.) I went back to the book with an eye to making it more visible — more discoverable, in publishing terms — by revamping the cover and formatting, changing up the “keywords” and other metadata, all so it might reach others who need that kind of affirmation and support.

I also include a few pages about, surprisingly, fanfiction. I did not even reference fanfiction in the first edition, and that was purposeful. I talk about why in that part of the afterward, but suffice to say, it has a lot to do with the idea that it felt like a shameful thing and would lead people to take the book less seriously. Now, in 2017, I feel differently about it, and want people to know what a critical role it played in my recuperation.

So, the book is out there now for purchase, pretty much everywhere, including iTunes and Amazon and GooglePlay and international booksellers (thanks to StreetLib publishing!). I priced it higher than the older editions, mostly (ironically) because a higher price tends to help in the rankings, for non-fiction anyway. However, if anyone wants to read it and cannot at this time afford it, please let me know, I am willing to provide “hardship” copies for anyone who needs it.

As always, thank you for your support. <3


Homeless (where the heart is)

I had to call the landlord today about a possible water leak at the apartment. This simple act threw me into a long, dreary and painful panic attack. It is the absolute worst to be sitting on the bus, going to work, trying to count your breaths and not keel over like you’re having a heart attack. (I can’t say I’m proud of the fact that I have a lot of experience looking calm, cool, and collected while falling apart, but there you go…)

I have a pretty great landlord, and I like where I live. Yet, the thought of calling him set me on edge to the point where I fell off that edge and back into PTSD, which after all is home away from home.

Because “home” died 20 years ago.homeless-blog header

After all this time, I think I should be “over it,” in the sense of not feeling like I’ve been gutted and left abandoned, alone, and helpless by the deaths of my parents. But I’m not. I still feel like I did that day in the summer of 1996 – a day I did not mark or make note of, a day I don’t really remember enough about to set an accurate date to – when I walked out of my parents’ house for the very last time, carrying my mother’s “Poppy Field” painting which was her pride and joy. I had left it for last on purpose. That painting always represented “home” because when it went up on the wall, I knew we were staying. I knew it had to be the last item I brought out of the house to bring with me.

The electricity had been off for a while. Mold was setting into the carpets and the pool was green. I had only moved into my new apartment the week before, though, so I had lived there for a couple of months as it sank into disrepair and destitution. I was still living there when the bank put “no trespassing” signs on the door. I had no job, almost no work history, and just a few thousand dollars in the bank from my father’s $10,000 life insurance policy (part of which paid off the balance on my car). If I hadn’t had that much, I would not have been able to rent an apartment. As it was, the fraction of my belongings (my inheritance) that I could save were put into storage, where they would stay for a decade. Some boxes have yet to be unpacked.

Most everything else – mother’s music albums, father’s tool chests, random pieces of furniture and kitchen goods, junk I could not even name and about 80% of our collective books – had been sold in a “fire sale” yard sale. As I walked out with the painting bulky in my arms (it is large), I left behind one of their large “IBM” desks and a cheap bookshelf. Half the books left (the really awful ones that no one wanted to buy, less than 50 total), were tossed about on the floor by scavengers who had stripped what they could of value that I had not moved to the apartment, including a lot of Mother’s old clothes that did not sell. The painting had been locked away, hidden, so at least I had that.

When I left that day, getting into my already-old car and heading to my too-expensive apartment to start living a life I knew I was not prepared for, it felt like I was homeless. I was unmoored and I think I was in shock, honestly. The PTSD and the panic attacks had started years earlier, and this was just a denouement of listless proportions.  I remember the drive away. I don’t remember how it ended or bringing the painting into the apartment.

I never hung that painting up in that apartment. I was only there a year, anyway.

Every place I’ve lived since then has never been home. I’ve been in my current place six, maybe seven years now? It’s not home. I’m not convinced any place ever will be, again. I still live with the panicked terror of waking up tomorrow with no place to go, no place to live, no place to belong.

I fight it. I try to make my life my home. It’s hard when your heart is so damn empty.

On Helplessness

There is a lot to unpack in philosopher André Comte-Sponville’s long essay, “The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality.” I have not, in fact, even finished reading it, but I’ll post a review of it when I do. (Spoiler: it’s going to be gushingly positive, highly fangirl-ish review. I love this book.)

But there is a lot to unpack in it, bon mots of brilliant insight that had me (at the bar of my favorite restaurant, no less) hopping up and down with excitement and exclaiming, “Yes! Exactly!” a lot. My bartender was amused.

What really grabbed me was that right out of the gate, Comte-Sponville tackled grief and mourning (this guy knows the way to my heart, for sure).This quote in particular has stayed with me: “Far more real, far more painful and unbearable is the death of loved ones. This is where atheists find themselves the most helpless.”

When people ask me about care-taking, grief, and mourning, they often hedge around the question “what was the worst part?” but it’s obvious that is what they want to know. I think because they often want to prime themselves for the experience, in hopes that being prepared for it will somehow make it easier to live through. It won’t, but that’s beside the point, because my answer generally confuses them: the worst part is the helplessness.

You stand by in horror when you watch someone slowly die, or stand transfixed by shock when informed of a sudden and unexpected death. Then they are dead, and there is nothing you can do. There was nothing you could have done. Nothing you do in the future will change what has happened.

Like an infant child abandoned in the woods, you are profoundly and terrifyingly helpless.

I have written before that I never once entertained ideas of an afterlife – not even on purpose, it just never occurred to me until other people mentioned it (“they’re happier now”; “you’ll see them again someday”…these consolations were mostly awkward for me, and confusing). So it was with a deep, yawning horror that I saw and understood how helpless I was during my parents’ deaths, because there is no consolation to an inevitable and permanent ending that cannot be successfully delayed or derailed or avoided. Death is, after birth, the most permanent human condition.

Ironically, during this time I was deeply involved in the Episcopal Church, mostly at my mother’s (surprise) urgings and my father’s approval. I was a lay minister, even. I prayed often. But it was empty of anything meaningful for me, despite my attempt to “find God” that seemed so important for other people. I was entirely sincere in my participation, but it was a lackluster experience. It gave me no answers, provided no solace, offered no hope. When I did pray, it was mostly for strength that never seemed to come. I was weak and devastated and helpless in the face of deaths I could not circumvent.

Not long after my father’s death (a year and half after my mother’s) I gave up on church and prayer. I would, ten years later, go on another “search for God” that was lot more organized and just as pointless, but in meantime I was dealing with a sense of helplessness that overwhelmed me, with no relief in sight other than depression. Depression is pretty awful, but I will say this: it does an excellent job of numbing your emotions. Oh, the good ones too, no doubt; joy, love, passion, excitement, kindness all get taken down in the same storm as grief, anger and helplessness. But it was the only reprieve I got.

Which is the backdrop for my reading that line from Comte-Sponville’s book. He is talking specifically about atheists like myself who are often sanguine about our own future death. Get a group of atheists together, and the one thing we can agree on is that we all fear dying but not death. I’ll die, that’s fine, that’s how it goes, here’s to hoping it’s not particularly painful. Whatevs.

But the same cannot be said about the death of loved ones, where we are left heartbroken and bereft by the permanent departure of someone who was an important part of our lives. What to do? What to do???

That is the essence of helplessness, I think, that desperate plea “What to do?” We must do something or go crazy, but there is nothing to be done. Religions do perform some service through the application of ritual (prayers, funerals, remembrances), and of course most deists believe in a version of carrying on in some way, even Buddhists (via reincarnation) and Jews (albeit without much fervor).

But not so, for us.

So, we stew in our helplessness. I dug out of it years later and after a nervous breakdown, which I truly don’t recommend. I’m not sure what could have prevented that catastrophe, but I’d like to think there was something. Therapy worked wonders in the end, but only when I was ready for it. There was no book or theory or practice that I ever found to help pull me, a “devout” atheist, out of my pit of bleak helplessness.

I don’t have answers for that conundrum. There is no point to prayer or rituals if you have no underlying faith in the framework they are a part of, which I learned through first-hand experience. Empty gestures just move air around.

I have not finished Comte-Sponville’s book, although a quick glance through proves he is adroit at asking the questions but hesitant with answers, a fine tone for a skeptic to take in my opinion. Perhaps these are things we must all simply power through and the key is not to find solutions but to learn to ask the right questions, each to answer individually on our own.

Which leaves me wondering what my questions would have been, 20 years ago.


Death Café, Tallahassee

I went to my first Death Café on Tuesday night. It was held at the Tallahassee Senior Center, which is busy place in the heart of “Mid-Town” Tallahassee, and just a block from where I live.

One aspect that attracted me to the whole concept of a Death Café is that it is secular, and welcoming of all people regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. It’s hard to find that kind of environment or organization when it comes to death, which is so heavily managed by religions.

I’ve known of Death Cafés pretty much since they started back in 2011, and have wanted to attend one.  I even considered trying to host one myself, but with graduate school and then full-time employment, I knew I could not do so effectively. Big Bend Hospice has been hosting them here in town for a while, though, but I did not know that until I saw it advertised on the big electronic sign out front the Senior Center (which happens to be where I wait for the bus each morning on my way to work, so you know, captive audience).

It’s probably not surprising that at 45, I was one of the younger people in attendance. It was about 30 people total, I’d guess, and we were broken up into smaller groups of five-to-eight at separate tables. There was a catered dinner, which was nice, since I had just rolled in from work (carting my backpack and wearing sneakers – bus riders gotta be ready to run, that’s all I’m sayin’!) and did not have time to go home first.

The group I was a part of was made up of people who had both lost loved ones and were also planning their own death/dying management (living wills, funeral arrangements, and such forth), so we all had that in common. There was no one there who was wary of talking about death and dying. Our shells were fully cracked by our life experiences and we were all ready to share.

I can’t say it was a particularly profound experience, but perhaps therein lies its value. There are few ways for non-deists to talk with death or our experiences as grievers in any kind of group setting outside of our circle of family and friends, and so we tend to just stay quiet.

But a Death Café, by its very nature, is designed to be that kind of secular, supportive place. It’s not the same as a grief support group, but then, I’m not at a stage in my life where I feel the need to be a part of a support group like that. I am simply looking for people who share my desire to break the taboo that surrounds death and dying, and talk to them about how our larger society frames our very personal issues. Since that was our common goal, it was a safe and comfortable place for me to participate without feeling judged or marginalized because of my atheism.

I will definitely attend a future event, although maybe not monthly. I’m unsure of what value I bring to the table, honestly, and would generally prefer not to talk about my own experiences but that’s just unavoidable. I do feel like a curiosity sometimes, and have since I was 26: tragedy writ large on memories of a long-dead family. It’s my story and I am comfortable in it, but people often react sensationally to it. That’s boring to me, but I understand how my life story is a little bit of a spectacle. My goal, though, is to try and talk less about “what happened” and more about “how do we function in society, and how ill-equipped is society to deal with us?”

I’m fortunate that Death Cafés are a thing now. I wonder – as I so often do – how different (if at all) my life would be if such resources had existed 20 years ago…


I’m here to talk about Dr. Who.

That might seem an odd segue for a blog about atheist grief, but last night when I was chatting with a friend, both subjects came up and I was spellbound. Why? Because in the end, both Dr. Who and grief are about personal regeneration.

This started when my friend J. was talking about her friend, whom we’re going to call British Steve. So the idea really tracks back to him, which is no big surprise when you think about it because British Steve is, as you may have guessed, British. His comment to her was that grief  recovery is a lot like Dr. Who’s life cycle: it requires complete regeneration.

I had to explain Dr. Who mythology to J., who wasn’t familiar with Time Lords. In the process, I realized, “holy crap, British Steve is RIGHT!”

In my book Grieving Futures I have a chapter about grief “recovery”, a word I don’t think applies at all to the process or the goal. It implies that you will get back to some kind of steady state, that you will “get over” grief and recover. But you won’t. You can’t, because that steady state of who you used to be has been shattered. It really isn’t like breaking a bone, although that metaphor has its uses. In GF I decided that the word “recuperation” fit better, although even at the time I knew it wasn’t perfect. You can recuperate from a broken leg and walk around like nothing happened, even if once in a while your leg twinges with pain or aches on rainy days. It’s the same leg and it works the same way, it looks the same, it IS THE SAME. Broken but healed: you have recuperated.

But regeneration isn’t like that. As I explained to J., when the Doctor regenerates, it’s a complete genetic remapping of his body (apologies to Dr. Who fans if I mangle this a little, I’m not really a hard core fan, I’m just familiar with the show). Intrinsically, he’s still the Doctor. But because his body has been remade, he’s also a completely different person, and not just in looks: his humor is different, his attitude is different, his reactions are different. His moral center as a Time Lord is the same, and he has all of his memories (mostly?) and he is always, always theDoctor. But he’s also not the same at all.

And that, my dear readers, is exactly what grief does to you. It regenerates  you.

In thinking this over, I realized that I have regenerated about three times (not counting childhood, but I think an argument could be made for that). The first time was when my mother was diagnosed in late 1992; the second, after my father died in 1996 and I was well and truly on my own; and the third, in 2008 when I hit the psychological skids and had to completely….wait for it….regenerate.  I think I’m actually undergoing a slow regeneration now, or maybe getting ready for one? Who knows how many times I’ll hit that reset, but now that I understand what is happening, I think I’m more prepared for it.

Back to the idea of regeneration, though: it’s painful, it’s scary, and there are no guarantees of who you will be on the other side. “Ten“, the tenth Doctor famously played by David Tennant, is known for the quote, “I don’t want to go.” It’s a heartbreaking moment because he knows he’s losing the life he created for himself in that form. When he regenerates, Ten "I don't wanna go"he won’t feel quite the same way about things and people, and he won’t react the same way either. Whatever he gains through regeneration (namely, an extremely extended lifespan) comes with great loss as well. And he damn well knows it.

I suppose this isn’t a very pleasant version of grief, but then, I pride myself in not pulling punches when talking about this stuff. It sucks, okay? It just sucks and it hurts and it’s awful.

But, and here’s the kicker: not regenerating at all isn’t a viable option. There is no stasis. You either rot in place or you change. To be honest, I rotted in place for a decade. I thought it was safe, but it was also pretty painful, and depressing, and in the end I had to regenerate anyway. It always comes back to that, and you can put it off until the pain is too great to continue or you can get it over with quickly and deal with the fall out. I’m not saying one way is good or bad, right or wrong, just that regeneration is inevitable.

This concept probably applies to a lot of traumatic life events, not just grief, and I find myself applying it liberally to my own story now. I understand clearly now why I am still the 26 year old young woman who lost her family, her home, and her pets and yet am someone so profoundly different I don’t see the similarities anymore. I have not lost a single experience, despite having a completely different outlook and personality. Friends from 1990 or 1998 recognize me as the same person, but also talk about how much I’ve changed. Part of that is the aging process, of course — brains change over time, we accumulate experiences that feed into our behavior and outlook. That’s the expected part of life.

Trauma, though, throws a wrench into the process. It takes a slow slide along the track of “getting older” and throws you bodily off it onto another track entirely. You’re still getting older, you still have all the memories and mementoes of “life before” but you’re going in a new direction in a different mind/body combination with different thoughts and different emotions.

You’re not recovering from grief or any other form of trauma, nor recuperating from it — the experience has, bodily by force, regenerated you completely. 

So it’s all scary and it’s got no guarantees and it means letting go of parts of yourself that you used to believe were permanent elements of your personality. On this side, that just sounds awful, and stressful, and painful. The irony here is that regeneration is the only way the Doctor can survive and by regenerating, he continues his adventures helping people and fixing time itself. For us, as mere humans, grief/trauma forces us into regeneration both as a protective measure to keep us alive and a progressive measure to help us continue on into a new stage of adventure.

You don’t wanna go…but you will, and when you do, you’ll find an amazing, brand new life. That’s just how it works.


The Atheist in the Mist

The title here refers to the classic movie about anthropologist Dian Fossey, “Gorillas in the Mist” which became short-hand among anthropologists for studying any group as an outsider prone to endangerment. Sometimes used sarcastically (“Polyamorists in the Mists!”) or as a warning when entering a violent situation/area, it fits this post because recently I was invited to participate in an on-campus interfaith dialogue about relationships.

Not that I expected to get flogged and burned, mind you, because FSU is generally regarded as a civilized and open-minded kind of place. *winks* But I thought it was weird to invite a self-identified atheist to the proceedings. Nonetheless, in the spirit of collegiate pride and professional responsibility, as well as personal curiosity, I went.

It was a small gathering (expected, as we’re near the end of term and everyone is freaking the fuck out about finals) but there I was, sitting between a converted Catholic and the campus Presbyterian minister. There was a fourth person who was supposed to be there, I’m assuming representing the “non-Christian” demographic, but she did not show, unfortunately. The crowd was a mixed bag, and I had a small cheer-leading section of co-workers all for me! (thank you, Martha, Jennifer, and Peace!)

Rapeseed field, Cotswald

This is not your After Life.

So we talked. And eventually, because I’m me and my relationships always turn back around to the deaths of my parents somehow, we got on the topic of grief and mourning and traditions surrounding death. (It’s a little depressing to realize that this is my “calling card” in such interfaith discussions, not because I regret it but because I stand out as unusual.) For the first time, someone directly asked me about how I would explain death to a child since I could not fall back on the whole “afterlife” mythology-du-jour.

The idea of an afterlife is alluring because it promises better, and it promises eternity. Not only will we be happier there, but we will be happy forever! It’s a hard prospect to turn down, emotionally speaking, especially it promises that we will be reunited with the people we love most. Personally I wasn’t raised to believe that, and it is not something that occurred to me at all during the protracted deaths of my parents. It just wasn’t on my radar that their deaths were a temporary separation, because I was pretty firmly in the mindset that their deaths were going to be permanent. That mindset has never changed.

But for many it is a bleak, bleak version of events. They want reunion, they want eternal happiness, they want a sense of justice to balance out all the awfulness that people experience in life.

I think people there were genuinely curious to my answer, because how can an atheist be anything but nihilistic? Or so the argument goes.

My response was that I think we do a disservice by letting children believe in an afterlife. There might be time for it — the argument rages, in secular circles — but on the whole, it’s unfair to promise something we cannot prove exists. And my point here isn’t to drive home the hopelessness of finality, but to stress that what matters is who we are NOW. What we do, and how we live our lives, is too easily overshadowed by ideas of a utopian afterlife. Many religions, especially Christian, argue that being a good person is how we earn a place in Heaven, and that’s our impetus for being morally good and just. I cannot get behind that and never have, because I think it is cheating ourselves if the only reason we do something good is for the sake of being rewarded for it. That’s the behavior of dogs and toddlers, not self-aware adults.

In laying the foundation for that self-aware adulthood, I would explain to a child that this life ends, and that is sad, but what matters is living joyfully, honestly and ethically in the life we have now. That remembering the life of someone who died is a better “afterlife” than any vague promises of unknown utopias, and being remembered after death as a good person is far more important than any hope for immortality. That getting this one chance to live fully is an opportunity we cannot waste or treat lightly, or ruin for other people. Knowing that everyone around you gets this one chance makes us more compassionate, not less; life becomes more precious, not less, when it is acknowledged as a rare and unique experience.

I’m pretty sure my answer did not fly with that crowd, or sway anyone from their religious path, but maybe (I hope) gave them food for thought about what life, and death, really mean in a world with 7 billion people striving for survival, love, and happiness.


* Photo by Eric Hossinger, used with permission via Flickr Creative Commons.


I get to expert things?

I was talking to my colleague Jennifer Miracle about blogging and specifically about my upcoming debut as a columnist for Atheist Republic, where I will be writing about grief and mourning issues. I was talking about how I don’t feel much like an expert on the topic, especially since I’m not a counselor or therapist trained in grief issues, and her question was, “Well, who is the expert?”

And I couldn’t tell her, because I can’t think of one.

Carol A. Fiore has written irregularly about atheist grief issues, but doesn’t seem too active on the subject these days outside of a few articles for Grief Digest. Her book detailing her relationship with her husband, his death, and dealing with her grief as an atheist is due out this year, though.

My resources page highlights a few (very few) other blogs and articles that are worth visiting, and I especially recommend the facebook page Grief Beyond Belief founded by Rebecca Hensler. But that’s pretty much it.

I’m totally not prepared to be “the expert” nor do I find it helpful to think of myself that way. I have to re-iterate that I’m not a professionally trained counselor or therapist. I’m a librarian whose parents died when I was in my 20s. That is pretty much the extent of my “expertise.”

Yet, I feel the need to have a role in talking about atheist/non-deist grief and mourning issues. We are a very small minority of people world wide, and our support structures are few and far between, especially if our families are religious. I’d love it if I were just one of dozens of bloggers currently writing about this topic, but I’m basically one of two. I’m certainly the only one who has been doing this regularly for several years (that I know of). That doesn’t make me an expert, just persistent — because I feel this is important, and I can’t seem to let it go.

That will have to be enough.

Skeptic’s Inspriational: January 10th

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. ~ Arnold Bennett

There are hurdles and obstacles, and then there drawbacks and discomforts. It is ironic that it is these smaller matters that sometimes dictate our fate. Often, those who can take great leaps based on faith in their abilities can hardly stand to wear a different style of shoe, or try a new type of cuisine. The issue is that we often tie up our sense of self identity in these off-hand idiosyncrasies — you passionately loves coffee, or you are the kind of person who always wears a certain type of sneakers, or you are known for admiring a particular band. This things are not truly who you are, but it’s uncomfortable to put them aside.

Remember that as you angle towards your personal goals and aspirations that you not only have to risk everything but also, sometimes, risk your own sense of self. You might need a different wardrobe, or to live without a fancy coffee drink for a year, or simply be open to types of food you normally would not even try. When you are confronted with these discomforts, look at where they fit in the bigger picture. Change can be small as well as great.

I am more than the habits and routines that make up my day to day existence. If something becomes a burden or stands in the way of my goals, no matter how cherished a part of my personality or lifestyle, I will put it aside. Even small changes have their place in creating positive progress.


Skeptic’s Inspirational: January 7th

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. ~ Lao Tzu

Count on Lao Tzu to make the blindingly obvious sound profound — because almost without fail, we tend to overlook the obvious in our quest for “greater understanding.” This is such a simple lesson and one we forget as we plan and schedule and daydream and work hard. You start a new job while planning to launch your own business, then five years later you’re still “in the planning stage” while getting promoted at work. Which was your real goal?

Remember to step back from your plans and busy schedule to really look at the path you are on. Sometimes life choices are irreversible (children) or inevitable (aging) but in many cases, we hold the power to change course. Sailors know that even a small change of half a degree can land you in a completely different place than where you were originally headed, so don’t think that making change always means moving to a new country or some other grand gesture. It can simply mean practicing a new skill for 20 minutes a day. Other times, it means setting firm deadlines and drawing out the route on a map. Whichever the case, take time to figure out if where you are going is where you want to be.

I am aware of the path I am on, and where it is taking me. I can change my course at any time I choose. Comparing where I am and where I am going to my personal goals helps focus me and gives me motivation to keep working towards change.


Meet the new logo!

Here you go, the new logo I’d been despairing of ever finding!

flower of life image in green

Patience & Fortitude in visual form!

It’s called a Flower of Life, and is a mathematically precise image of overlapping circles. I think most skeptics will appreciate that! Moreover, the “flower” motif of it reflects the cycle of life, in my opinion.

It may seem like a silly thing to belabor a logo, especially for a non-profit enterprise like this website. One of the primary goals I have here, though, is to elevate awareness of the unique challenges that non-deist mourners experience. A logo like this is something people can add to their own websites or use as a logo, or simply recognize as belonging to the topic generally.

I’m debating incorporating it into a header, or to leave it as a randomly floating image. It’s the default image for posts for now, and at some point I’ll leverage into the site design somehow.

Questions? Comments? Please do! I’d love to hear your thoughts.